Four Types of Competition in Monopolized Markets

Special Report: Water: An Assessment of the Resource
The Current Situation in the Water Sector
By Dominique Lorrain

This article describes the strategies of the major utilities who have been engaged in the water sector since the 1980s. First, the major water systems operators are presented (with the entrance, and the subsequent exit, of the large electricity companies). Then is discussed the existence of a second group of firms is then examined: partially privatised public operators, companies from developing countries. Next, the article discusses a second mode of participation of the private sector, under the umbrella of public or municipal services; the actors involved are environmental engineering and heavy engineering firms. Based on that review, the article discuss four types of competition in monopoly markets: competition for the market, “second order competition,” competition on market pre-conditions, and competition in the market (with the rapid growth of bottled water consumption).

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